I grew up in a wonderful Christian home. We lived a street over from my church, and on beautiful Sunday mornings would walk over together. I was involved in the children’s choir (The Bible Tells Me So Show, anyone?!), handbells, youth groups and VBS. Some of my favorite memories, and friends came from within the walls of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church. As I got older, and could drive, my attendance at some of the events waned, but I was still seated on a pew next to my parents on Sunday mornings. In College, I dabbled a bit in the Baptist Student Union on campus, and balanced that with my very active social schedule my first year of college. I certainly called out for God a few times as I was head first in a toilet after a night out. By the end of my college year, I maybe made it to church on Easter and Christmas, the holidays when even the non-believers make it into church…just in case. During this time of evolution in my life, there were a couple of things that didn’t change. 1 – my love for Jesus, and 2 – his continued pursuit of me. Up until this point things just hadn’t clicked.
It was when I was 2 years or so into my first job out of college, 2005. I was in sales, and had been moved to a new sales location with a new sales partner. Jason. Jason and I could not have been more different. He married young, had a beautiful wife, and at the time, only 1 child. A daughter, Bella. I was 25, single, and mixing with a crowd that frequented the bars of Buckhead more than our office. Over time our friendship began to develop, and we began to share parts of our life. I would see him reading the bible in his office, and this struck me as odd. I had always heard that there were people who read the bible, but didn’t know anyone who did, and if they did, they certainly didn’t do it in public, or without searching for a verse to help make it through a tough time. Jason opened up an entirely new side of God to me. I told him my story, and how I felt that God was with me, but that I wouldn’t classify it as a relationship. Jason suggested I read “Blue Like Jazz”, by Don Miller. So now, on top of Jason going all heavy on the conversation with me about God, he was asking me to not only read, but read a book about God. Hesitant, and a little bit curious, I purchased the book…and that’s when it all changed for me.
If you’ve ever read Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christianity, you understand the impact it can have on not only new Christians, but also old Christians, non-believers and those with questions. It is a powerful book, and quite frankly, saved my relationship with God. This isn’t a blog about what the book is about…you should go grab it and read it on your own. This is a blog about the movie that came about because of the book. Well, the movie that almost came about because of the book.
I wrote a couple of weeks back about one of Don’s other books that moved me, “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years”, which is actually the book about the writing of the movie. At that time, everything was in place and a date had been set for the production of the movie. For several reasons, the filming was put on hold. One of those reasons was financial, because, as Don says in his blog:
“The folks who invest in Christian movies were scared to death of Blue Like Jazz. While it has a PG-13 rating, there is language, drug use and a scene where the protagonists put a giant condom on a steeple. To me, it’s the only movie that takes an honest look at a Christian kid coming of age in America, a story experienced by tens of millions of students each year. But students don’t fund Christian movies, older white guys do, and they find it hard to relate to the theme.”
This was devastating news to me because I had so looked forward to seeing the book that changed my life be in a position to change someone else’s. Someone who doesn’t read, but watches movies, of course. And then Don posted a story about a couple of guys in Nashville who started a donation page on Kickstarter, the site that many musicians use to get their albums funded. This campaign has a huge groundswell of support. And the awesome thing is that it’s being funded by the people who believe in Don, who believe in what Blue Like Jazz has and can do, by the people who have been moved by this piece of literature.
Money is tight right now, for everyone. But, I believe in this movie, and I hope that you do as well. Check out www.savebluelikejazz.com. But you don’t have to take my word for it…see below.